Initial Consultation and Fact Finding
The Law Offices of Areeg Akel provides initial client
consultations by appointment normally scheduled on Mondays
through Fridays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Alternative arrangements
can be made, if necessary, depending upon the client's particular
Clients who reside in San Diego are provided in-person consultations
at the Law Offices of Areeg Akel:
401 West A Street
San Diego, California
The fee for such a consultation is free for the first half-hour.
The office accepts payment by major credit card (Mastercard,
Discover, Visa) cashier's check, money order and cash.
Clients who reside outside of San Diego County and Orange
County are provided telephone consultations. Consultation
fee will be deducted from your total attorney upon the signed
completion of a retainer agreement. The client must complete
an Initial Consultation Form and return it with payment by
money order or cashier's check prior to the consultation,
and the Law Office will set up a telephonic consultation appointment
In-House former FBI Special Agent with 30 years experience
reviews applicable law enforcement procedures, policies and
The Law Office does not quote you any attorney fees, unless
and until you have had an initial consultation. Attorney fees
are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on several
factors including: Emergency involved, complexity of a case,
amount of legal work, collateral issues (i.e., immigration/deportation
issues), administrative, judicial and/or other proceedings.
What to expect after an ARREST
Only talk about your case with someone who is your lawyer or a lawyer you are considering retaining. Anything you say can be used against you, including what you say as soon as you are first pulled over on the road, or approached by a police office, or to court officials, or jail staff after an arrest.
Arrest is when a law enforcement officer takes you into custody, typically to jail. Officers must have a warrant or probable cause in order to arrest you.
When you have been arrested, the authorities are required to follow standard procedures throughout the process. Call our office immediately and DO NOT discuss your case with anyone else. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court, including what you say when you are first pulled over, stopped, and/or approached, and anything you say to court officials, police officers, or jail staff after arrest.
Most police arrests happen as a result of a judge issuing an arrest warrant. This document allows police officers to locate a particular person and bring him or her into custody in order to make an appearance before the judge, for an arraignment/ bail hearing first court appearance. Typically, the person named on the arrest warrant has been accused of a crime like a complaint, an indictment, or a parole violation.
While most arrests are prompted by a warrant, some don't require a warrant. If a police officer witnesses a crime or has probable cause to judge that a person has committed a crime, no warrant is necessary to arrest the suspect.
No matter which series of events causes the arrest to happen, police officers must recite a set of statements known as Miranda Rights before questioning a suspect. These warnings include the right to remain silent, a reminder that anything you say may be used against you in court, the right to be accompanied by a lawyer during questioning, and the right to have a lawyer appointed if you can’t afford a private attorney.
When it comes to police questioning, it's important to remember that you don't have to answer any questions before or after an arrest. If the police officers don't read your Miranda rights or wait to do so until after they've already begun questioning you, rest assured that anything you've said typically cannot be submitted as evidence in court.
How to handle an outstanding warrant
If you think you might have an outstanding arrest warrant, it's essential to resolve the matter as quickly as possible by contacting an attorney, call our office 24/7 at (619) 325-2911. You'll need a criminal defense lawyer to handle your case. However, understanding how arrest warrants work will help you decide on your next steps.
What is an arrest warrant?
An arrest warrant, which is a document that includes the suspect's name and the crimes of which they are suspected of, instructs law enforcement officers to make an arrest of a suspect. For serious crimes, arrest warrants motivate police officers to find the suspect and arrest them immediately on the spot.
An arrest warrant is different from a bench warrant. A bench warrant means that the suspect missed a court appearance and, therefore, has become a fugitive. For instance, if you received a traffic citation and forgot about your hearing, the judge might issue a bench warrant when you don't appear. If this happens, contact our office at (619) 325-2911 and contact the court immediately to fix the problem. Turning yourself in, without making the police come and find you, shows the judge that you did not intend to miss the date, or other obligation. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to assist you in making the difficult decisions, as this is an Attorney’s expertise.
Arrest warrants vs. search warrants
A search warrant gives law enforcement permission to search your home, vehicle, or other property for evidence of a crime. It doesn't give the police the right to arrest you, but if the police find incriminating evidence, they might place you under arrest.
How the warrant is issued
Judges will issue an arrest warrant when they decide they have probable cause to arrest a suspect for a criminal offense. This could happen after law enforcement conducts an investigation and discovers evidence of your guilt. For instance, after a burglary, the police might review surveillance videos and find your likeness on tape. In this case, the judge will issue a warrant for an arrest.
Sometimes, after a cooperating witness files a report with the police, the court will issue an arrest warrant for the suspect. For example, if a credible witness names you as the perpetrator of an assault, the court will sign an arrest warrant for you.
An arrest warrant doesn't mean you're heading straight for trial. In many cases, courts issue arrest warrants before a grand jury indicts the suspect. This means that you will have several court appearances prior trial. In federal cases, if the grand jury doesn't hand down an indictment or if law enforcement finds contradictory evidence in the course of their investigation, the charges might be not filed or dropped well before trial.
How to search for outstanding warrants
In state criminal cases, you might find out about an outstanding warrant from a number of sources. In many cases, you can search your county's online database for information about any warrants the court might have issued. You can also call the court directly or ask an attorney to investigate your criminal record, call our office at (619) 325-2911.
How to take action
If you know that you have an outstanding warrant, an immediate and proactive response is best. A criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the court on your behalf. The results depend on your specific circumstances and the nature of the warrant.
If you ignore an outstanding warrant, you risk an arrest at any time. If you're pulled over for speeding, for instance, the police officer will run your name through their computer and discover the warrant. They will likely arrest you immediately, after which you'll have to find a lawyer from jail and ask a friend or family member to post your bond.
However, if you turn yourself in, you are in control of the timing. It's best to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney and start the process of clearing the warrant immediately. Contact our office immediately to advise you about the best course of action for your situation.
Miranda is not required unless you are in custody (not free to leave) and being questioned. It doesn't apply to the investigative questions you were asked during the "investigation" like where were you coming from, going, drinking, eating, etc. It also doesn't apply to any spontaneous statements you may have made on the way taken to the station.
Law enforcement is required to "read you your rights" when you are in custody and they are interrogating you/ asking you questions for the purpose of eliciting incriminating responses related to the arrest. Also, it is unlikely they need a statement you made in order to prove you were DUI. At best, the statements gets tossed and you are left with observations and test results.
The criminal investigation process differs based on the type of crime and the police arrest process. If you're arrested based on an indictment (federal), complaint (state), a violation, or police officers have already launched an investigation into your actions.
If you're arrested while committing a crime or if police officers arrest you based on probable cause, they might begin the investigation immediately by conducting a pat down to ensure you don't have weapons or evidence on your person. If deemed necessary, police officers will conduct a more thorough search of your person after arrest, and they might also survey the scene for evidence or other contraband.
After you have been taken into police custody, you'll go through the booking process, which produces an official arrest record. All jurisdictions follow a standard booking procedure, but not all steps may be necessary for each person. Booking typically includes the following steps:
1. Producing a record: The suspect's name, identifying information, and related crime become part of the arrest record.
2 . Creating a mug shot: The mug shot establishes the suspect's identity and creates a record of his or her condition when arrested.
3. Storing the suspect's property: The suspect's clothing and most personal property are stored until the suspect's release. Any weapons or contraband are typically kept as evidence.
4. Documenting fingerprints: The suspect's fingerprints become part of his or her record, and they may also enter a national database. These fingerprints may be used to solve future or past crimes as well.
5. Performing a search: Though most officers conduct pat downs during a police arrest, a complete strip search or full body search is often necessary upon booking.
6. Searching for warrants: In addition to creating a new booking record, police officers check to confirm whether a suspect has pending or outstanding warrants for his or her arrest.
7. Checking health status: Assessing a suspect's health status is often necessary for the safety of officers, staff, and other inmates.
8. Gathering information: Officers typically request information about a suspect's affiliations or relationships to determine where he or she should be placed in jail.
9. Taking a DNA sample: Some suspects might be asked to produce DNA samples to be housed in national databases.
Keep in mind that Miranda rights don't apply during the booking process. In general, it's best to speak as little as possible during booking and answer questions as simply as possible. Most suspects are allowed to make a phone call to a family member or a lawyer after the booking process is complete.
How long will I stay in jail?
Within 48 to 72 hours of being arrested, you'll appear in court for an arraignment. This is where you'll learn the charges against you, and you'll have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If you have to go to trial at a later date, you might be sentenced to jail in the meantime. Most people want to get out of jail as soon as possible after arraignment. Judges set bail for individual suspects, but many jails set standard bail amounts for common crimes. If you can't raise the funds to post bail on your own, you might have the option to work with a bail bondsperson in order to get out of jail quickly.
When you post bail, you generally have to agree to comply with certain conditions. The crime you're accused of, your prior arrest records, and other issues might affect the conditions. If you violate any of the conditions, you risk being arrested again.
If you have strong ties to the community and if you present no risk of flight, you might be eligible to be released on your own recognizance (OR). This typically means that you don't have to post bail for release.
Release from jail
If you're charged with a crime, you'll have the opportunity to go to trial. In some cases, however, prosecutors drop charges for minor cases, when victims request that no charges be filed, or if the suspect provides testimony against another.
If you're released without charges filed, you'll need to take a few additional steps to lessen the impact on your record or remove the charges entirely. Find out what your local court requires for Expungement or record sealing, or contact our office a criminal defense attorney for assistance (619) 325-2911.
Hire a lawyer
Do not discuss your case with anyone else but an attorney. If you are facing criminal charges, you’ll want to talk to a lawyer immediately. The help of a private criminal defense attorney will almost always result in a better outcome for your case. A lawyer will be familiar with the best defense strategy for your situation, controls all future communications with all parties, and can help achieve lighter penalties than if you were to use a public defender or represent yourself. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact our office immediately at (619) 325-2911.